As a part of VOX ATL’s ongoing VOX Investigates coverage on “Equity In Education,” reporters Isabella Cavienss and Tibria Brown went out to Georgia State University to ask people their opinion on Special Education Programs and their importance.
You are more than beautiful, you, yes you.
It’s important to tell yourself this, maybe not daily, but frequently. We all constantly have body images, facial features, eye colors, or hair colors that are thrown at us as what’s “acceptable,” which may stop some girls and boys from seeing their true and real beauty. Sometimes we also tend to be extremely harsh on ourselves or find it hard to accept compliments because, to be honest, a lot of people or even ourselves don’t randomly give them out anymore.
Based on a study done by Dove called “The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited:”
4% of women around the world find or consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as “beautiful”
72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful (or “meet” the standards that fit around beautiful)
80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty.
Lastly, more than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look they are their own worst beauty critics.
I wanted to see this for myself though, so I walked around downtown Atlanta and completed a social experiment, asking mostly females and some men their thoughts on their beauty. It was interesting to see that a lot of people didn’t know how to respond to compliments because they rarely received them and felt that it was quite awkward. I was also surprised by the fact that a lot of people had never been told they were beautiful before, and/or definitely didn’t feel like it. It was also interesting to see that it was easy for some people to compliment or name three positive things about themselves versus others who felt they didn’t receive compliments as much.
I also discussed the impact of compliments on teens and young adults I talked to. “It makes me feel good,” stated Ella S., 16. “It makes me feel all bubbly inside,” Queenstar M., 16, shared. “It reassures me that I am pretty” – said Kalia J., 16.
After doing the social experiment and research, I wanted to think about ways to also build both boys’ and girls’ self-confidence so we aren’t just relying on what other people think or overall compliments. Something I personally feel helps me are affirmations. Yes, I know right, sounds so cliché, but they do help. I start them off with “I am” or “I will,” telling myself this every day. This also comes with a positive attitude and maybe not surrounding ourselves with people who tend to touch on your insecurities in a negative light or constantly spread negative energy.
Also, for teens, the majority of us are constantly on our phones, yet a lot of us don’t know that there are apps that send positive messages throughout the day as notifications, which can also be used as a simple reminder of something positive for yourself. Some of these apps are Shine, Think up, or Motivation quotes which can be easily found in your app stores for free.
Unfortunately, the study done by Dove was reflected throughout the day I spent reporting. But I wanted the video I created to show both the positives and negatives, because everyone should feel beautiful and some people were able to speak or show it better than others. Although we should all grow to have the self-confidence to believe and think about the beauty inside and outside of us, it’s also important to spread positivity and love within the spaces we reside. You are more than beautiful, you, yes you. So tell yourself this daily if you’d like.
We all face or have insecurities, trust me I do too, and I know it’s sometimes hard to embrace them. But this also comes from not comparing ourselves to people’s bodies, lifestyles, facial features and more, because we each individually all face different problems. So, please, believe in yourself when you tell yourself you’re beautiful. No one is you, and no one can be exactly like you — that’s your beauty.
By Lala Tolbert, Queenstar Mensah, रूद्राक्ष Bhukhanwala, and Maya Masters-Fairman, VOX Media Cafe Reporters
I’ve been in a relationship for nine years now. We spend about thirty-two hours a week together. My phone and I are practically inseparable. You could say I spend more time with my phone than actual humans. How is this possible? It’s not that I want to break up with my phone, it’s just that I want to make time for other important things such as my family, my health, and my friends.
I want to be in a healthy relationship with my phone and see everything it has to offer without comparing myself to other people. Rather than tell you all the ways that social media is bad, I would prefer to list some ways you can regain control in your relationship with social media and take charge rather than let it run your life. How can I fix a toxic relationship with my phone and use it for its ultimate purpose?
“With teens, there is a level of validation. For example, if they don’t get a certain amount of likes on a post, they delete it. But social media shows you only what the person wants you to see so you can’t compare yourself to their ideal image that they have created. That’s just one version of themselves.” — Teyonna Ridgeway, social media specialist
Take These Five Tips!
1. Get to know yourself
Personality tests are the best ways to get into the nitty-gritty of identifying reasons behind your behaviors, thinking, and long term planning. The Enneagram, a nine type personality analysis has become an upcoming tool for people to understand themselves better. According to an analysis by Bonnie Kristain, published in The Week news magazine, what makes the Enneagram stand out among other personality tests is its ability to point out personal flaws that are often ignored rather than reiterate strengths like the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) personality test does, for example. There are so many valuable resources regarding this personality test that can help you understand why you think and act the way you do. It is important to know yourself before you go onto social media and post about yourself for others to see. Exploring the Enneagram can help you realize that you shouldn’t feel bad or regret the way you feel when you act a certain way that is different from someone else. It is just your personality so understanding why you may feel the way you do when you make certain choices can be beneficial to how you relate to the world inside your phone. Here is the link to the Enneagram test so you can find out which personality type you are!
2. Clock It
“All social media experience is done best with moderation and that’s something that the user has to regulate.” — Don Massey, user interface/user experience designer
Set a timer on your phone when you go into apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, or Twitter because these types of apps require more time and are platforms that can consume your attention causing you to get deep into the social media content inside other people’s lives. Trying to create and stick with a schedule for screen time in general can be really hard. Rather than stay on a schedule, limit your screen time for certain apps through your settings or find other activities that distract you, such as going for a walk or reading a book for a set amount of time. If you keep your device in a place that is less accessible, it can also help regulate your time spent on social media.
3. Change Your Notifications
“Jet just posted for the first time in a while”
“We found new pins for you!”
“Go wish Emily a Happy Birthday”
“Breaking News: Ari Stole WHAT From the JoBros?”
We can thank Blackberry for initiating the use of push notifications as a way for users to receive updates for their emails immediately. However, today according to the 2019 Business of Apps Review the average smartphone user receives over forty-six app push notifications per day.
To avoid constant distractions, start by disabling notifications that you don’t need from specific apps. Keep the ones that are important for communication, but set them to appear only on your lock screen. Doing this will take your mind off of constantly checking your phone to see what is going on inside your social media applications. If you think this won’t help, enable usage restrictions or time limits on certain apps.
4. Think Before You Post
“What is your story and why does it matter? Before you post, you should always make sure you are posting something that represents you.” —Teyonna Ridgeway, social media specialist
Think about your audience before you post. What message are you trying to give people and if it’s a negative one that is harmful to others, reconsider posting it to avoid hurting someone and to maintain a good reputation. Use social media to express or promote things you are passionate about. If you are someone who is passionate about poetry or art, post some of your works and follow other people that share that same interest as a way to gain inspiration. It also gives you the opportunity to promote your work.
5. Follow People Who Add Value to Your Life
Who you spend time with is who you become. Instead of following people who you compare yourself to or people who constantly spread negative information, follow people who motivate and inspire you. Doing so allows you to further strengthen who you are as an individual as you might discover more things about yourself through other people. Remember, not everything you see on social media is true. It is just a small fraction of an individual’s life.
For More Tips, Check Out These Sites
- McCarthy, Joy. “Whether You’re a Business Owner and/or a Blogger like Me and Find Yourself Feeling Overwhelmed with Social …” • Joyous Health, Joyous Health, www.joyoushealth.com/27088-blog-8-ways-to-have-a-healthy-relationship-with-social-media.
- Levinson, Lauren. “8 Ways to Have a Healthier Relationship With Social Media.” Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, 22 Feb. 2018, www.marthastewart.com/1525984/have-healthier-relationship-social-media.
- Kahn, Nina. “Here’s How Apple’s Latest Privacy Feature Will Work When You Sign Into Social Media.” Bustle, Bustle, 5 June 2019, www.bustle.com/p/how-to-use-sign-in-with-apple-in-ios-13-to-log-in-to-your-social-media-with-one-click-17952569.